Experimenting with Exercise

The past two weeks were spent trying non-traditional workouts. I have been bouncing, twisting and flying through the air. I wanted to get a sense of difficulty for different movements that my body is not used to.

A little personal fitness background:

Typically, I attend a 5AM outdoor boot camp 3-4 times a week (shout out to Camp Gladiator), complimented with 2-3 workouts on my own. These workouts include a mix of cardio, yoga and weight training. I ALWAYS have a rest day filled with self-care and stretching. (Note: The importance and benefits of consistent self-care routines will come in a later post!)

So why am I experimenting with new (and arguably odd) exercise classes? Here is the thing – I am restless and always want to try something new. I am trying these new exercises as a means of challenging my body, while also stimulating my mind with new environments and new people.

So far, I have done three odd, but incredible classes so far, with the intent of doing many more. These experiences were made possible by a free month trial with ClassPass. #sponsored (not really, but I wish)

Let’s dive into it already!!

DEFINE: bounce

Mini Trampolines feat. Kaitlin, my Houston gal pal
(peep me in the mirror)

The first class I tried was called bounce, held at DEFINE: Heights. It was a 45 minute total body workout on a mini trampoline. Quick childhood flashback to jumping on those huge trampolines with the surrounding net for hours, when you could fling your body all over the place without falling off or getting tired….That was not the case in this class. Talk about muscle burn and high intensity cardio!! I forgot how exhausting continuously bouncing on a trampoline could be, but I quickly remembered during this class.

The workout was organized around the music we were listening to, and it required some serious coordination and ability to keep tempo. Let me break it down for you:

  • Song 1: Warm-up
  • Songs 2-3: Trampoline cardio blast
  • Songs 4-5: Weighted arms + legs session
  • Songs 6-7: Trampoline cardio blast
  • Songs 8-9: Arms + legs session with resistance band
  • Songs 10-11: Trampoline cardio blast
  • Songs 12-14: Mini barre + abs session – final burnout
  • Song 15: Final Sprint on trampoline
  • Song 16: Cool down & stretch
  • LAY ON THE GROUND

I initially signed up for it thinking “oh, this will just be for fun – I don’t expect to break a major sweat.” I think the instructor somehow knew, because she totally kicked my butt. I would 10/10 recommend this class – and if you go, take me with you!!

Verticality Pole Dancing: Level 1 Beginner

My pole, feat. Kaitlin again

Okay, before you go and pass judgment, can I just say that this was one of the most fun classes I have taken? Why?, you ask…because it was pure, silly fun. Strut around the pole, spin around it, do a sexy hair flip and body roll. But also expect your upper back will be SO SORE the next day – pole dancing is no joke.

When I entered the room, the instructors were wearing crop tops and tight spandex panties. They played the part. Maybe they are actual strippers, who knows. I wasn’t sure if it was okay to ask my instructor that during my first class. Maybe next time I can dig into her story a little more.

Regardless, I have a whole new appreciation for pole dancers. What they do is not easy, and they manage to look sexy the whole time – WHAT?! I was so focused on proper hand placement so I wouldn’t fall flat on my face, that there was no way I could have also been focusing on my facial expressions at the same time.

In the hour long class I learned several skills, including how to properly strut around the pole, body roll, transition, and “bend and snap” pole dancing edition. More importantly though, I realized how everyone has their thing that they enjoy doing in order feel good about themselves – no one person’s way of exercising is better than the next. This pole dancing studio is not something that I would take up as regular exercise, but I can appreciate the people who do – it’s so fun, and it definitely isn’t easy!

*Cue “Rewrite the Stars” from the Greatest Showman*

Cirque La Vie: Trapeze All Levels

I recently read a book called My Year with Eleanor” by Noelle Hancock, a reflection on the year she spent living by Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote to do something that scares her every day. One of those activities was trapeze. So I decided that I wanted to try joining the circus for a day!

I googled “trapeze classes in Houston” and it brought me to Cirque La Vie. Man, was I surprised! It was nothing like I expected. Walking into the warehouse training room, people were climbing ropes, putting in work on the rings and practicing floor acrobatics. It was incredible – and I was so stoked to try it!

We started with a 45 minute stretching session, where I realized that I am still flexible enough to do splits on both legs – I STILL GOT IT. Then we got to the skills portion of the session, and I realized how out of my league I was. I seriously lack the upper body strength to execute the moves well.

The really cool part was that the class included all levels of trapeze artists. There were people in that class that literally perform in a traveling circus – and they were still encouraging me to keep trying. They were so supportive of my effort and courage to put myself out there, despite being a newbie.

The other memorable part of this class was my mom took the class with me while she was visiting me from out of town! How cool is she, right? She got up on the rings and even hit a mermaid pose! So proud of her for trying new things with me, and for always supporting my weird, crazy whims.

Mom & Me 🙂

Conclusion

If you know me, you know I am competitive, especially against myself. The past two weeks, I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and made my body move in ways it is not used to.

These experiences have been nothing short of humbling. I am not perfect at everything I try, and that is perfectly OK. I don’t have to be! I was able to try new things and have fun doing it, regardless of my skill level. I wasn’t hard on myself, but instead, allowed myself to thoroughly enjoy the moment.

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